The newest craze in the Strasburg Shutdown Strategy debate is to suggest various ways the Nats could limit Strasburg’s innings and space out his starts to prolong his season. This, despite the fact that Mike Rizzo has adamantly insisted for months and months that they will not tinker with Strasburg’s regular rest to prolong his season.
So this is all a mere exercise in fantasy dream make believe. Still, SI.com’s Joe Sheehan wrote this:
After Strasburg makes his start Wednesday, the team can either DL him — it’s been said that any starting pitcher can be found to have sufficient damage to warrant a short DL stay — or merely skip his next start, recalling John Lannan to pitch in his stead on the 20th against the Braves (or in the prior series, against the Mets, so as to let the team’s better starters pitch against Atlanta). Strasburg can return to the rotation during the team’s road trip to Philadelphia and Miami, and beginning September 1, the Nats can take advantage of the expanded rosters — and their strong No. 6 starter in Lannan — to use a six-man rotation in the season’s final month.
Sheehan then has Strasburg available for at least one postseason start. Nats fan Sean McNally has a similar plan that would get Strasburg three or four postseason starts. And ESPN’s Rick Sutcliffe recently unveiled his own plan that could get Strasburg through the end of the regular season with about 180 innings pitched. [See his suggested calendar, below.]
“If they don’t need him [in his last two starts], well guess what, we’re still at 175 innings,” Sutcliffe concluded, in the video above. “And I’ll guarantee you one thing, if they get a chance to play Game 1 against ANYBODY in the postseason, Stephen Strasburg’s gonna be on the mound.”
All possible, except for Rizzo saying he wouldn’t do any of it.